Inscriptions on the Aqualith

A documentation of aquatic ponderings for tabletop roleplaying, after action reports, and product impressions. Dive in with the Consortium: aqualith.media

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Laying foundations

Ryan Heck aqualith.media
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Microbadge: TULIP: CalvinistMicrobadge: WW1 WargamerMicrobadge: Cypher System fanMicrobadge: Water elementMicrobadge: Cooperative worldbuilding fan
My trip to see family for Thanksgiving was great. Since then, I've been going full speed balancing the job hunt, seeing friends and relatives, as well as getting a little gaming in here and there.

Quick paints update
I believe I've selected some paints for The Great War, however I'd like to make that a separate post once I iron out some details. And I know I stated I'd have an unboxing, but in the meantime, I invite you to check out some of the others readily available and linked on BGG. I do not plan to duplicate others' work, and I have some ideas on how to put a different spin on mine to keep it fresh. Stay tuned there!

Over the top
But not all is stalled with my appreciation for WWI gaming. I did get a match in of Verdun yesterday. If anyone out there also plays and would be interested in getting a squad together for it or it's half-sequel Tannenberg, do hit me up on Steam. Playing solo has always been challenging, especially in such a squad multiplayer game as it is.

Acquired The Hero's Journey
During DriveThruRPG's Black Friday sales, I snagged a number of water magic based products that I hope to review and research for my own products. But one prime product that I'd been holding out on is The Hero's Journey Fantasy Roleplaying by Barrel Rider Games. I know that it's creator James Spahn has been hard at work with some other projects, though I know he's got plans to support his love letter to original D&D. This is a beautiful entry into OSR gaming. I'll spell all that out later in it's own forthcoming post. My read of it has been quite fun so far.

Let's get social
Onto some business. Today I spent a good amount of time updating the Twitter account, updating the avatar and header image, as well as interacting with some of the tabletop community and updating the header on my new MeWe group. You are welcome to join that, especially if you're already on MeWe as part of the diaspora out of Google+. I'll be putting my focus on those two outside of this blog for the time being. Speaking of Diaspora, I do have a presence there, but I have not been convinced as of late that it would be worth expending energy there. I really wanted it to be awesome, but it just never panned out. Convince me otherwise.

Aqualith branding
In addition to the social media updates, I did some groundwork for a proper logo for Aqualith and it's subsidiary logo lockups. I've got about seven variations, but I can't reveal them yet or else spoil them. And most are very subject to change and not pan out, so I'm playing it safe. But I'd still like to open develop on this blog as much as possible, if you'll allow.

Quench your thirst each Thursday
One of those seven projects may just start next Thursday. This is my first regularly scheduled post, so we'll see how it pans out.

That's all for today. I need to tackle some things outside the blog the next few days unfortunately not gaming related, but do join MeWe or follow on Twitter to keep in touch in the mean time. As always...


Steady tides be with you!

Ryan | @aqualithmedia | meridian.space
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Thu Dec 6, 2018 4:00 am
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The Great War - On paints

Ryan Heck aqualith.media
United States
Minnetonka
Minnesota
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Microbadge: TULIP: CalvinistMicrobadge: WW1 WargamerMicrobadge: Cypher System fanMicrobadge: Water elementMicrobadge: Cooperative worldbuilding fan
Here's an impromptu blog and request for feedback. My family is asking me for Christmas wishlist, so part of that is the painting supplies for my upcoming projects in the new year.

As mentioned in a prior blog, I plan to go about painting my armies of The Great War by PSC Games and French Army Expansion. That said, the current edition includes soft plastic 15mm soldiers. While this size and even type of plastic isn't ideal for extensive painting, I'm up for the challenge and want to see it happen anyways.

What I want to know from those who've done this with these kinds of games or plastic is: what brands/types of paint/washes should I look into getting? Feel free to go into as much detail in your response below as you wish. I'd love for someone else to find this post helpful.


Steady tides be with you!

Ryan | @aqualithmedia | meridian.space
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Fri Nov 23, 2018 4:00 pm
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Armistice, Part II

Ryan Heck aqualith.media
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Previously, I had intended to include this portion in my Armistice/Veteran's Day post, but I encountered a technical hurdle with uploading the following two images. That's now been fixed.

External image

Pictured: George C. Martin, Lieutenant, US Navy

External image

Pictured: Theodore B. Marshall, 1st Lieutenant, US Army


These are two ancestors I knew who served in that great and terrible war. This week, I honor them and those who've served in every war since. God bless you, and thank you for serving. As you may point out, it is Theodore's picture I am using as my avatar at the time of this writing.

Coming up soon will be my unboxing video of both The Great War Centenary Edition and The Great War: French Army Expansion. I don't especially like unboxing videos that include taking the surrounding plastic wrap and opening each and every plastic bag or punchout. What I will present to you however is an edited down version of it, but I will not cut any corners. There's plenty of other great unboxings out there, though my approach will be one who's a newbie to wargaming, Monsterpocalypse and X-Wing notwithstanding. Expect it in a few weeks.


Steady tides be with you!

Ryan
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Fri Nov 16, 2018 2:00 pm
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An affinity for water

Ryan Heck aqualith.media
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In my post on what this Aqualith business is all about, one question that might have come across to you in reading it is: why water magic? That doesn't seem so strong or literally cool as ice magic. Ice is what you mean right?

Plainly, no.

I've been a fan of water-based magic for quite some time, mainly since I began to dive into tabletop RPG's. Though where possible, I've loved exploring it in MMORPG's as well. In both tabletop and video game forms, I've noticed a peculiarity; one might say laziness. You've got the traditional four elemental forms of earth, air/wind, fire, and water. Each of those four tend to be pretty straight forward, except water. More likely than not when water is mentioned, the dev team really implies ice. This is annoying to me.

Why not provide the player an option to choose how their control over water is perceived? What if I wanted my character to do vapor? Consider the damage that focused boiling-hot steam can do to human flesh, and you get the idea. It's irregular for sure, but that's still water. My personal favorite is straight up liquid water.

I get the cost factor for video games. They want an ability to give mages a control spell set, so freezing a target or targets in place or firing ice shards to negate an opponent who's fire-centric is an effective and easy to grasp concept for the player. But let's take the favored approach here, free of the shackles of a graphics budget: and that's tabletop.

With tabletop, you are not limited to the imaginations and budgets of the development team. The visuals in your head are as real, cinematic, gritty, or as animated as you want them to be.

I love the idea of concentrated jet streams cutting practically anything, or the visual of sliding along a surface, producing a slide by producing water in your path, or erecting an impenetrable wall between you and your opponent.

I wish to explore this niche in detail and present it in product form so that players and GM's have yet another option to them that would appear to be lacking in a lot of games today. I'm thrilled to one day be able to share them with you to be used as much or as little in your campaign as you desire.


Steady tides be with you!

Ryan
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Thu Nov 15, 2018 2:00 pm
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What is the Aqualith?

Ryan Heck aqualith.media
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Blogs are an interesting beast. They've stood the test of time, even against the behemoth of social media that's to many considered "the internet" for the better part of fifteen years. Short or long form, they've been a way for a user to share their thoughts, usually unfiltered, on any topic of their choosing. But you know that, already. What I'm getting at is that often these blogs tend to have peculiar names, funny/punny names, or very straight forward and mundane names.

Inscriptions on the Aqualith is referential to what I'm at the moment calling a sub-setting for any sort of science fiction, fantasy, or better yet: a sci-fantasy setting for tabletop RPGs. This would include exhaustive, but definitive, lore about an ancient culture of magic users that solely draw their strength and power from a single monolith, hidden deep in the watery glades of their homeland. Now surrounded night and day by a protectorate and constantly studied by scribes and elders, the Aqualith, as it was known to be called, gives those users who know how to harness it, the ability to manipulate water in all it's forms. Since it is a single culture, the pocket setting as I'm calling it now can easily be placed as a module into a setting of the gamemaster's choosing to be used for player characters, non-playable allies, and even nemesis. More on those details in a later post, and possibly PDF products in the future.

We were talking about the title right? Well on this Aqualith are inscriptions in a language foreign to any tongue in the land. Over centuries, scribes eventually were able to decipher their meaning, at least in part. For our world, I hope to be your scribe; unpacking thoughts about not only this stuff about the Aqualith, but the gaming hobby and community I'm personally apart of, and maybe you can share with us your own side of the hobby.

So that is really it. In looking up the word aqualith, I did see a few uses of it in the real world, which are not applicable to the faux-history and culture I'm developing here. So the Aqualithic period of African history or the German form of the mineral, aqualite, have no bearing on my usage here.

Next, I'd like to unpack my proclivity for water magic.

Steady tides be with you!

Ryan
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Tue Nov 13, 2018 2:00 pm
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Armistice

Ryan Heck aqualith.media
United States
Minnetonka
Minnesota
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Microbadge: TULIP: CalvinistMicrobadge: WW1 WargamerMicrobadge: Cypher System fanMicrobadge: Water elementMicrobadge: Cooperative worldbuilding fan
How fitting that my copies of The Great War Centenary Edition and The Great War: French Army Expansion both arrived this weekend, which marked the centenary of Armistice Day, yesterday. This is also proof that you can have it ordered at your local game stores here in the US now! PSC hasn't officially stated it's available here yet, despite much prodding from us on social media.

Board Game: The Great War


The next step will be unboxing it, which I'll attempt to do with a video to be posted in an upcoming post later this week or the next, depending on schedule.

I was planning to share some photos of some ancestors, from both parents' sides, but unfortunately I'm having some minor tech difficulties. I'll share them later.

Tomorrow, I'll be sharing a details about the very name of this blog and why I chose it.


Steady tides be with you!

Ryan | @aqualithmedia | meridian.space
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Mon Nov 12, 2018 5:00 pm
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Salutations & expectations

Ryan Heck aqualith.media
United States
Minnetonka
Minnesota
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Microbadge: TULIP: CalvinistMicrobadge: WW1 WargamerMicrobadge: Cypher System fanMicrobadge: Water elementMicrobadge: Cooperative worldbuilding fan
I say hey...
Hi! My name is Ryan and I like to play all sorts of games. My primary gaming interest in this time of my life are roleplaying games, specifically ones with the opportunity for world-building and rules that can be modified easily for your campaign's needs. At the moment, my personal favorite to fit that is the Cypher System by Monte Cook Games, as well as varying degrees of involvement in the OSR and Pathfinder communities. At the moment, I cannot have a regular in-person or even virtual tabletop campaign, so play-by-post, specifically through Discord, has been my go-to for still having my fix. I'm currently in one ongoing Cypher System game.

Additionally, I've recently gotten the itch to check out historical wargaming. Maybe it's a sign of age?

My family, including my delightful wife who longsuffers my hobby, and adorable daughter (read: toddler roleplayer-to-be) currently live in the Twin Cities area without any set gaming groups as yet, but I am working to make that a thing whether at a game store or through friends at church. We are devout Christians and I'll happily extrapolate that in a future post, or you are free to message me with questions.

...what's going on?
* I have been told by local game store Lodestone Coffee & Games that the copies of The Great War Centenary Edition and The Great War: French Army Expansion I special-ordered are on the way!
* I backed the second printing of Monte Cook Games' No Thank You, Evil! earlier this year and hoping to see that delivered before end of year or early the next.
* I am attending the first annual Bold North Conference in Saint Paul this weekend. This will be my first reformed theology-centered conference I'll attend in person. I suspect it'll be pretty low-key in presentation, but rich in content.
*Star Citizen's Alpha 3.3 patch release to live? Not definite, but the recent updates on the release roadmap suggests it'll be ready soon. I'm a day one Golden Ticket backer of that project and I'll happily unpack that at at later date.

What to expect
Inevitably, some slice of life posts, but centered on all aspects of gaming.

I've got a few ideas to produce some very affordable RPG products to distribute on DriveThruRPG as a 3rd party self-publisher! No idea when, but I hope to document this journey. And my wife is also interested in contributing to it as well. It will also be a fun way to stretch my design muscles outside of the regular 40 hour work week grind.

As mentioned above regarding The Great War by PSC Games, I plan to paint the miniatures! And I'll be showcasing my process as well as showing an unboxing video when the time comes, as well as impressions about the rules and scenarios.

Rule of 'law'
Here's a rule that might possibly break some people's brains: On this blog and the Twitter account I've established that ties into it, I will use the Edit button liberally. Whether it's for annoying typos I find later, or to correct a thought I had after the fact, I'll do it. I do not so much mind corrective-history when it comes to my own stuff here. If there's a potential problematic portion of a post that I've edited, I'll retain a note to list what I changed and why as a footnote to that post. I'd like to think of this blog as not so much progressive in a time sense, but retroactive and referential, somewhat like a wiki. So expect links and callbacks to previous posts in-frequently where there wasn't one the first time you read it.

All the things
My primary hub of info for all gaming can be found in one place, as I found it perplexing to drill down all the usernames and handles across all the various sites and games imaginable. At the moment it's very lacking in a graphical theme, which pains me as a designer, but I'll get to it when I get to it. In the mean time, check it out and feel free to add me if you like. I do have some ads there which I wouldn't bother with if I didn't think they were worthwhile products.

Schedule?
I'll post these up in the mornings, probably every few days, sometimes consecutively. Some will go long, others shorter, to which I'll split out into a series. Either way, your best case scenario is to subscribe. I hope this will amount to something and worthwhile to myself and to you, the reader. Game on, and...


Steady tides be with you!

Ryan
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Fri Nov 9, 2018 2:00 pm
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